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game recap

Flames recover, defeat Islanders

Czarnik, Gaudreau score 29 seconds apart in third period after New York ties it

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

Gaudreau's top-shelf PPG

NYI@CGY: Gaudreau picks the corner for his 30th

Johnny Gaudreau fires a shot over the glove of Thomas Greiss on the power play for the Flames' second goal in 29 seconds

  • 00:53 •

CALGARY -- Johnny Gaudreau and Austin Czarnik scored 29 seconds apart in the third period for the Calgary Flames in a 4-2 win against the New York Islanders at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist, Travis Hamonic scored, and Mike Smith made 17 saves for the Flames (37-16-7), who have won three in a row following a four-game losing streak (0-2-2) and lead the San Jose Sharks by three points for first place in the Western Conference.

"Tonight was one of our best games we've played since coming off the All-Star break," Gaudreau said. "It showed. We outshot them pretty good. Special teams … outplayed them. [Smith] was a rock back there. It was a really good team effort. I was really happy with the way we played."


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Flames highlights]


Anders Lee and Casey Cizikas scored, and Thomas Greiss made 28 saves for the Islanders (35-18-6), who had won two in a row and remain three points ahead of the Washington Capitals for first in the Metropolitan Division.

"We got a big F. Failure," New York coach Barry Trotz said. "We had too many passengers. We weren't emotionally and physically engaged, at least in the first half of the game. We sort of crawled our way back in and gave it back. We didn't deserve to win."

Czarnik scored at 6:10 to give Calgary a 3-2 lead. Greiss stopped Mark Jankowski's initial shot, but Czarnik's rebound attempt bounced backwards off Islanders forward Leo Komarov and in. 

Video: NYI@CGY: Czarnik scores off favorable bounce

"I thought we played great from start to finish," said Czarnik, who has scored in three consecutive games after being a healthy scratch in nine straight. "Obviously, they had a little pushback in the third, which we were expecting, but for us to stay with it, get that big power-play goal from [Gaudreau]."

Gaudreau made it 4-2 at 6:39, scoring his first goal in 10 games and 30th of the season on a slap shot over Greiss' left shoulder.

"Tonight, I probably could have found the net with two or three different looks I had," Gaudreau said. "Just the way it's been going. As they say sometimes, when they're going in, they're going in. But they found a way to stay out tonight. I had some good looks, but that last goal, I just tried to blast it through his chest almost, I was getting so many looks. It was nice to sneak one by there far side."

Backlund put the Flames ahead 1-0 at 5:00 of the first period, scoring off a pass from Michael Frolik on a 2-on-1.

Video: NYI@CGY: Backlund buries Frolik's excellent pass

Hamonic scored to make it 2-0 at 15:59. Elias Lindholm won the face-off following an icing call and Backlund tapped the puck back to Hamonic, who shot through a screen.

Cizikas took a centering pass from Josh Bailey and scored on a backhand that trickled past Smith to cut it to 2-1 at 10:09 of the second period, and Lee tied it 2-2 at 1:18 of the third from the right hash marks.

"We gave ourselves a chance," Cizikas said. "We just couldn't finish it. I think going into the third 2-1, the way we were playing, we would've taken that. To get that early goal definitely got us going, but we've got to find a way to be better for 60 minutes because that wasn't good at all."

Video: NYI@CGY: Cizikas slips backhander into the net


They said it

"I thought we played great. We played in the o-zone a lot tonight. When we were in the d-zone, I thought we were pretty good in front of [Smith]. [Smith] had some big saves as well. Big [penalty kill] at the end there. Power play looked good as well. Pretty good, complete game for our team and a nice win." -- Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau

"We were a little bit too loose I think. We weren't winning those small little plays, little battles, stuff like that. Against a high-powered offense and team that moves the puck really well … they created a lot of entries where they were controlling the puck coming into the zone. You give guys like that time, they're going to make plays and they did." -- Islanders captain Anders Lee


Need to know

Calgary has scored 221 goals this season (second in NHL) after scoring 216 goals last season. … Flames defenseman Mark Giordano had an assist and is two points from becoming the fourth defenseman in NHL history to have at least 60 points at age 35 or older at the start of the season, joining Nicklas Lidstrom (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11), Al MacInnis (1998-99, 2002-03) and Sergei Zubov (2005-06). … Bailey has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past three games. …. Lindholm has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak and 28 points (eight goals, 20 assists) in his past 21 games.


What's next

Islanders: At the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Video: Flames net two quick goals in the 3rd, top Islanders

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